The NC House voted 65-50 Thursday to approve legislation that would allow fracking for natural gas in North Carolina to begin as early as next year. Democrats were unsuccessful as they repeatedly pushed to amend the bill allowing for stronger environmental protections including public disclosure of fracking chemicals and providing cities with greater power in setting future rules.
Rep. Becky Carney criticized House Republicans for tabling several amendments, eliminating any possible debate:
“I’m astounded that we’re all willing to move forward and say, let an industry, let a mining commission, comprised of industry representatives move forward and develop the rules,” said Carney.”We’re moving forward, permits are being issued, it’s our responsibility. And basically what we did today when we shut down the debate was to say that the bill is all about refusing our right as legislators to see the rules.”
In the end, eleven House Republicans voted against the Energy Modernization Act.
The NC Senate gave its approval to the bill just hours after its passage by the House. The measure now heads to Governor McCrory, who has said he will sign the measure.
To hear a portion of Thursday’s debate, click below. To see how individual members of the House voted, click here.